5 Horrors at Home Showings
From the artwork to the odor, your listing may be inadvertently giving buyers the creeps. Realtor.com® recently interviewed real estate professionals about the items that have scared off their buyers the most during showings. Here are the top five spooks.
- Doors with too many locks. If the doors have more than the standard two locks, your buyer may wonder if something happened on the premises to make the seller feel unsafe, says Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty in Birmingham, Ala. “Given a choice, most people won’t buy in places they think are unsafe,” he says.
- Taxidermy. A single deer head may pass muster in some areas, but taxidermy runs the risk of making some buyers uncomfortable. “One house I helped stage had a stuffed bighorn sheep in the dining room and a stuffed bear in the family room,” says Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors in Montville, N.J.
- Questionable art choices. Any artwork displayed should be neutral and carry no risk of offending or confusing potential buyers. Jeff Miller, cofounder of AE Home Group in Baltimore, recalls a seller who was obsessed with feet and displayed framed paintings and sculptures of feet—and even keychains with feet on them. “I told the seller to get their feet out of the picture,” Miller says.
- Obvious DIY repairs. Amateur repair work that’s left half done can prove to be a big turnoff to buyers. “I once encountered a little house of horrors that actually had caution tape across a very outdated bathroom with a hole in the floor,” Bly told realtor.com®. The home also had “dark rooms with lights that didn’t work, as well as nonfunctioning appliances in the kitchen.”
- Odd smells. Pet odors, mold, or musty smells can also give buyers the creeps. “Almost every home has a unique smell, and the owners rarely realize it,” says Jerry Koller, a sales associate with International Home Realty in Irvine, Calif. “Of course, it’s smart to try remedies such as Febreze or candles. But sometimes, you just need to replace carpet before putting your house on the market.”
Source: “8 Frightening Things in Sellers’ Homes That Can Scare Buyers Silly,” realtor.com® (Oct. 17, 2017)